Hola personas! Hope you’re all doing well because I definitely did! This past weekend, we finally went on our Panama Field Trip. I know nothing about Panama before going, all I knew is there was a canal somewhere and it was a pretty big deal at one point. However, we traveled to Bocas del Toro which is nowhere near the canal. But boy, was it a pretty big deal! We took a four hour bus to the border, spent some time trying to get through the border which was an interesting experience. We then took another bus and then a boat to get to our hotels. Our hotels were adorable, and we had to take over two because we also paired up with the sustainability program. We got there, ate dinner, and then went to bed to prepare for tomorrow.
The next day we began at 9:00AM and we travelled to the clearest beach I have ever been to. I know I’ve been saying how clear every other beach is, but Playa Estrella (this one) was actually clear. Like, crystal clear. There were no waves, and we could literally just relax all morning. We played volleyball, swam, tubed, and tanned. I could not stop staying “This is paradise.” The entire day I was saying that. What a way to live. It made me want to drop out of school and start a Pura Vida life because there were so many people on the beach who embraced that lifestyle and seemed just as content as we were. The rest of the day was pretty chill; we really just hung around at multiple beaches and soaked up the sun.
The next day though, we started with a dolphin tour in an area that reminded me of a bay, and saw a few dolphins hopping out of the water! It was very cool! And because it was a bay-like area, there were trees everywhere, so we pulled up under one and saw two sloths in the tree above us! Then we went snorkeling where my friend saw a shark and we saw eels and so many other types of sea life that I was actually gasping underwater. We even saw the rainbowfish from that children’s story about rainbowfish. I didn’t know they actually existed! We also bought crocs for this so we didn’t hurt our feet on the coral.
We then had dinner (which was delicious) and headed out for some fun for the night. Also, they cook all their rice with coconut water which at first took me by surprise, but after the first meal, I found myself kind of addicted to it? And all the seafood is fantastic so that was awesome as well.
I never wanted to leave Panama. Yes, I feel sad leaving every beach town, but leaving Panama hit different. I used to recommend traveling to Costa Rica for vacation, but now I have to recommend Boca del Toros. Not only are the tourist attractions cool, but the way of life is more chill there than it is in Costa Rica. My best example would be that cars and humans used the streets together and I can’t explain it, but occupying the streets in the way they were just solidified the vibes of the area.
Panama was magical and I am so happy I got to share this experience with the people on my trip, and with you all! I will write again soon! Pura Vida!